What Caught Our Attention: Two days ago, the news organization Reuters mysteriously withdrew a 2014 story about the firing of four people from now-defunct oil company Afren, including its CEO. The only explanation: “it did not meet Reuters standards for accuracy.”
The executives were fired in 2014 for allegedly receiving unauthorized payments; two have subsequently faced criminal and civil charges. The news agency has retracted articles on rare occasions — but why a news story from nearly four years ago? The 2014 story appeared to report on an announcement from the company on that same day, which corroborates the facts reported in the headline (all that’s left of the original story). Other outlets also covered the same announcement.
All we know about why the 2014 story disappeared is what little a Reuters spokesperson told us:
We were made aware of errors in the story and withdrew it once they were brought to our attention.
The spokesperson declined to comment further.
Former Afren CEO Osman Shahenshah made the news this week, when the UK Insolvency Service banned he and his former Chief Operating Officer from running another UK company for 14 years, in the continuing fallout from the scandal. In 2017, the Evening Standard reported that Shahenshah and the former COO were suing Afren’s administrators for millions of pounds, “claiming reputational damage after they were sacked for allegedly accepting ‘bribes.’”
ADVISORY-The story titled “UPDATE 2-Oil producer Afren fires CEO, 3 other execs in scandal” dated October 14, 2014 is withdrawn, because it did not meet Reuters standards for accuracy. There will be no substitute story.
Date of Article: October 14, 2014
Date of Notice: April 16, 2018
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